24 APR 2017
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Executive promises Spring ‘clean-up’ at Lindsay Walk

21 April 2017

The Housing Executive is considering a comprehensive refurbishment of city centre flats in Newry after residents said poor maintenance and broken promises have led to health issues and a growing rat problem.

People living in Lindsay Walk said they were promised a caretaker for the communal flats last year to address ongoing dumping and maintenance issues.

However, the appointment has not materialised, which residents say has led to a mounting rubbish problem in the surrounding area - which in turn has led to a recent infestation of rodents.

They also accused the Housing Executive of failing to act over a broken rubbish chute or to remove obscene graffiti that was reported six months ago.

“We feel the Executive doesn’t care,” one resident told the Reporter. 

“They told us six months ago that we were getting a caretaker and that he would be in place by February this year, but that hasn’t happened and we haven’t been told why.

“We were also told that anytime the bin chute stopped working, to notify them straight away and that there would be someone out to fix it, but it was reported nearly three weeks ago and it still hasn’t been fixed.”

Another resident said: “It’s frustrating. The rubbish on the rear pathway and around the flats has been piling up and there is no regular maintenance around the area. We feel we have been let down.”

He added: “One of the flats here has been vacant for over a year and since the tenant moved out, there has been no maintenance or clean-up of the flat or the garden, which we believe is full of rats now.”

A Housing Executive spokesperson said the Executive is considering a comprehensive refurbishment of the flats, adding that issues with the bin chute, graffiti and general rubbish will be addressed over the Easter holiday period.

However, the spokesperson did not comment on residents’ claims that they were promised a caretaker for maintenance work. 

“Local Housing Executive Officers for the area recently visited Lindsay Walk, North Street, Newry,” the spokesperson told the Reporter.

“A quantity of rubbish has been removed from the back door of the block of flats and the bin chute has been cleared. It is proposed to have the communal area of the building thoroughly washed and cleaned and graffiti removed. This work is due to be completed after the Easter holiday period.”

He added: “A more comprehensive refurbishment may be considered following a detailed inspection of the flats to include floor cover replacement and internal painting. Maintenance of the outside of the building is already planned for later in the year, which will enhance the appearance of the area. 

“Maintenance of the building will include a cyclical inspection and cleaned on a regular basis. It is anticipated that there will be minimal disruption to residents, who reside in the building as this work is being completed.”

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